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Microsoft plans Hyper-V-and-other-clouds-to-Azure migration tool

VMware-to-Azure was just the beginning

By Simon Sharwood

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Microsoft has revealed the Azure Migrate tool it announced as supporting lift and shift from on-prem vSphere to Azure will also become capable of doing the same for on-premises Hyper-V applications and applications in rival clouds. But the company’s stayed schtum about the identity of the mystery VMware partner that has helped it build its bare metal VMware service in Azure.

Microsoft’s director of program management for Azure compute, Corey Sanders, told a Wednesday webinar that Azure Migrate weaponises vCenter by using the performance data it collects to help formulate recommendations for what’s required to move apps running under VMware into Azure. vCenter is such a trove of data that Microsoft needs only run a VM to gather the data it needs to create an application inventory - no agents are required.

Redmond reverts to an agent to figure out networking dependencies and are eventually offered a recommended cloudy configuration, complete with pricing that assumes reserved instances, and what should be decent savings compared to on-prem operations.

Sanders demonstrated Azure Migrate and it appeared admirably simple, as promised, with migrations concluding with a few moments of downtime akin to failover to a DR rig rather than a major outage.

All of the big clouds and infrastructure software players offer on-ramps to encourage and facilitate migration, but most are token efforts. Sanders left no doubt that Azure Migrate is a far more serious attempt at creating a service that makes Azure adoption simple.

Microsoft was, however, silent on just how it’s been able to get vSphere running inside Azure or who helped it to do so.

Since our last story on the subject, it’s been suggested to El Reg that HPE might be a good fit for Microsoft's mysterious migratory friend. HPE has gone all in on Azure, has no reason to love VMware now that’s a limb of direct rival Dell, but is a strong Virtzilla partner. HPE also ticks the box for expertise getting VMware running on custom rigs, as it did so for its own hyperconverged kit and can draw on SimpliVity’s experience of doing so too. HPE’s also been mean to VMware before, so might be willing to stretch the friendship again.

Microsoft told us it will reveal its helper in the fullness of time. We’ll be there when it finally names names. ®

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